Writing Prompt: The door was left wide open.

Happy Frosty Friday everyone. I took the trash out this morning and had to crunch my way through the yard to do so. I felt a bit bad for the grass. Unfortunately it couldn’t be helped. With luck it was in too much of a stupified slumber to notice. Of course as I didn’t throw on a sweater or anything when taking out the trash, I feel almost as frosty as the yard. So time to warm up the brains with the morning writing prompt. Everyone ready? Fabulous. Let’s get to it then.

Interesting. I’m still not sure about the people, but I could actually see the plot start to form. I think this one may be a think about for a while story and then get back to. There are so many ways it could be taken.

Friday, December 11th: The door was left wide open.

The door was left wide open.  Seeing it sent a shiver up my spine.  I knew no one was home.  I knew no one had been home for a long time.  Still, seeing the door standing open like that seemed wrong to me.  Doors, especially the front doors of houses were meant to be closed.  They were designed to keep those that didn’t belong out while those inside remained safe behind them.  Looking at the open door felt like a violation of some unspoken protocol.

I wondered how long it stood open. Surely it hadn’t been gaping wide since the incident. My thoughts tried to lead me down a path filled with jagged memories and painful sights.  I refused to go.

‘Except that I’m here,’ I thought.  My thoughts turning traitor.  Why else was a I here if not to live through the memories again, if not to see them again.  Why had I been called to the place I once called home?

I heard a rustling from within.  While I was standing still, every joint I had immediately locked up in fear at the sound, like a full body convulse.  I wasn’t alone.  I should have been alone out here. I was assured no one else came out here.  The sound came again and I tried to convince myself it was an animal. 

‘A large animal,’ I thought. I swallowed hard, trying to squash the panic.  I knew my eyes were wide as saucers and my breath was coming too fast.  My chest felt tight and I couldn’t move. I was frozen stiff as a board.

‘Light as a feather, stiff as a board,’ my brain kicked back.  I could hear the childish giggles and my friends and I played the game at one of my long ago sleep overs.

A form appeared in the open doorway, the outline of a man.  I let out a squeak before I could stop myself, sounding like a frightened mouse.  The man edged forwards and the sunlight caught him, turning shadow to flesh and I recognized the Sherriff.  The ice melted from my joints and the tightness eased.  I drew in a long slow shuttering breath eclipsing all the short sharp ones from mere moments before.  I plinked rapidly as though by blinking I would shrink my eyes back to their normal size and out of their panicked enlargement.

Sheriff Gregson was there that night, the night everything went wrong.  He walked into the wrong and made it right, or as right as it could get. It was a different sort of right but he stopped the blood and the pain.  The sight of him brought instant relief.  He was older now.  Gray threaded through his brown hair in thick ropes that were heartier than the remaining original brown. He added weight to his frame, no longer the solidly muscled man new to the job, he added a paunch to go with the gray and his muscles no longer stretched fabric taught. 

He was still a powerfully built man, just one who had weathered more storms and developed a different sort of strength.  His eyes were the same calming brown I remembered.  Considerate without being pitying.  I faced enough of the pitying kind to be grateful. 

When last I saw sheriff he was two months into his new position having taken over from Sheriff Macintyre two months prior.  Not everyone was happy sheriff Mac was gone.  Now Gregson was not only settled in his job, but getting ready to leave it.  From what I heard he had less than two months before his retirement. 

While I respected the symmetry, still I didn’t know why he called me, or why he was here instead of in his office.  I expected him there.  I stopped by the house to see it, to remind myself before I went to see him.  It was a foolish thought.  This house lived with me every day of my life no matter where in the world I went.  I didn’t need reminding. Still, I needed to see it, just as I needed to know why the sheriff asked me to stop by his office. 

Despite the surprise, somehow it seemed more fitting to see him here than in his office. That night, this house, made both of us who we became more than anything else.

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